George Mavrothalassitis is chef/proprietor of Honolulu’s top-rated Chef Mavro restaurant and holds the prestigious James Beard award, considered the “Oscars” of the culinary world. He is a founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) who cooks from the philosophy: Always buy the best and freshest, buy local, treat all products with great respect, and create new menus each season. Chef Mavro restaurant is dedicated to food and wine pairing. Seasonal menus feature recipes with wine pairings selected by a wine committee after a blind tasting of five wines with each recipe.
Great Chefs first filmed Chef Mavro at the Le Mer Restaurant in the Halekulani Hotel on the beach at Waikiki in 1994, where he prepared 3 entree dishes for the Great Chefs of Hawaii televison series for the Discovery Channel, Opakapaka w/ginger; and Beef w/oysters; Kumu & Mushrooms. In 1999Chef Mavro prepared a baked Onaga for the Great Chefs of the World series, and in 2013, he presentshis Lobster Indochine “A La Coque”.
In 2011, Wine Spectator recognized Chef Mavro as one of the eleven “most important French chefs working in America” along with Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, Pierre Gagnaire, Eric Ripert & Joel Robuchon. His popular restaurant is the only independently owned Hawaii restaurant to earn the American Automobile Association (AAA) Five Diamond status (2008-2013). Also it is the only Hawaii restaurant with a Gayot Three Toques 18/20 rating and a coveted place on their “Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.” Also the restaurant holds numerous Top 10 awards including “Top 10 Restaurants in the World” based on a vote of the editors of Fodor’s guidebooks. Recently, Chef Mavro restaurant was tapped as the only fine dining restaurant in America to be honored by United Fresh for innovative and influential use of fresh produce. Despite a room full of awards, Chef Mavro always says he starts afresh each morning and gives 100% to the challenges of that day.
Chef Mavro was born on the port in Marseilles, the capital of sunny Provence, surrounded by the passionate calls of fishmongers and the farm-fresh flavors of southern France. His award-winning contemporary Hawaii regional cuisine is also rooted in training with numerous masters of contemporary French cuisine and his experience as owner of a gourmet restaurant in Marseilles and Restaurant La Presqu’ile in Cassis, France.
Current influences are from his life in Hawaii and he loves to tell the story of his first morning in Honolulu. “At sunrise I looked out over Waikiki Beach to Diamond Head and I said to myself – That’s it! I’m home!” Ever since that day in 1988, Chef Mavro has embraced the multi-ethnic people and foods of Hawaii and become a champion of dozens of boutique farmers and specialty fisherman. One example among many is Mavro’s partnership with Island-born vanilla farmer Jim Reddekopp and their media launch of the Hawaiian vanilla industry in Honolulu and again in New York. His dedication to quality is legendary.
“Sometimes buying local means the cost is higher and sometimes it takes more time but the reward is huge. Local farmers succeed and my guests enjoy fresh, regional ingredients and a dining experience they could have only in Hawaii,” explains Mavrothalassitis.
Mavro continues to provide frequent advanced workshops for Hawaii culinary students, serves on the executive board of the non-profit Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation, and always finds time to meet personally with young chefs seeking his guidance. In 2009 he created Restaurant Reality offered twice a year as a free two-day intensive program for culinary students that includes hands-on training in his kitchen combined with farm tours, a briefing on Five Diamond service, and a Grand Tasting dining experience. His charitable activities are focused on the arts with a special dedication to Hawaii Public Radio.